Associated Press

Deadline Nears to Comment on Moving of Confederate Statues

A committee studying the possible removal of three Confederate monuments on North Carolina’s Capitol grounds is accepting public comments for one more day. So far, the committee that’s part of the North Carolina Historical Commission has received more than 5,400 comments on whether to move the statues to a Civil War battlefield as Gov. Roy Cooper requested. The committee will continue to accept comments through midnight Thursday. The panel plans to report on the proposal this month to the full state commission. Cooper wants the monuments moved to the Bentonville battlefield site in Johnston County. A 2015 state law...

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Cooper Says Court Rulings Favoring Republican Need Appeals

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper isn’t giving up following new court rulings favoring Republican legislative leaders and the laws they passed. Cooper’s lawyers are expected to appeal judicial decisions Monday upholding laws that reduced the number of Court of Appeals judges and directed the governor to include increased funding for taxpayer-funded private school tuition in his budget documents. Another ruling Monday favoring GOP legislators involved control of federal grants and Volkswagen emissions settlement funds. Cooper told reporters Tuesday he believes the cases warrant examination by higher state courts. He pointed out some of Monday’s rulings made by a three-judge...

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North Carolina Agency Says Chemical Makers Lied

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper wants to tackle an emerging problem of water and air pollution from industrial chemicals by beefing up the state’s health and environmental agencies, a move legislators have resisted. Cooper proposed Tuesday spending $14 million with half of the money to find sources of water contamination or collecting and analyzing data on how to handle perfluorinated compounds like GenX. Legislators in February failed to agree on an extra $2 million for the Department of Environmental Quality. State regulators said in new court documents this week that the operators of a chemical plant near Fayetteville have...

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Judges Rule for GOP in Latest Power Struggle with Governor

North Carolina state judges favored Republican legislative leaders Monday in the latest batch of rulings over laws that Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has sued over by complaining that they unconstitutionally eroded his authority. A majority on a three-judge panel dismissed portions of a lawsuit from Cooper by affirming one law that will reduce the number of Court of Appeals judges from 15 to 12 as retirements and other vacancies arise. By the same 2-1 ruling, the panel also affirmed a law that told the governor he must mention increasing amounts of money for taxpayer-funded scholarships for private school tuition...

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School Psychologists Concerned About Staffing Levels

North Carolina school psychologists and guidance counselors say hiring more of them would help public schools identify students with mental health challenges sooner and reduce the possibility of serious violence. Leaders of groups representing the fields spoke Monday to a state House subcommittee examining student health issues. The panel is supposed to provide suggestions to a larger committee whose mission is to evaluate how to make schools and students safer following the Florida school shootings in February. The North Carolina legislature reconvenes in five weeks. Currently there is one school psychologist for roughly every 2,100 public school students in...

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North Carolina Wants to Review Birthing Centers Where 3 died

Health officials in North Carolina want to inspect a birthing center where three newborns have died in the last six months. Media outlets reported the Department of Health and Human Services has asked to inspect Baby+Co. in Cary and review patient records and company policies. The company says it welcomes the review and will work with the state on the review details. North Carolina does not require free-standing birthing centers to be licensed. Deputy secretary of health services Mark Benton said officials want to learn why the newborns died at or shortly after delivery. Benton said the review will...

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White, Cunane AP Prep players of year in North Carolina

Coby White of Wilson Greenfield and Elissa Cunane of Northern Guilford are The Associated Press men’s and women’s prep players of the year for North Carolina. Preston Davis of Charlotte Independence and Darlene Joyner of Northwest Guilford were selected as the men’s and women’s coaches of the year in results released Friday following a vote of 16 statewide media members. White, a North Carolina recruit who played in the McDonald’s All-America game, nearly averaged a triple-double with 30.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists. He also scored 3,511 career points, breaking the record set by JamesOn Curry in 2004....

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Blackbeard’s Flag to Fly on North Carolina Ferries

Ferries serving the North Carolina Outer Banks will be flying Blackbeard’s flag thanks to an agreement between two state agencies. The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has teamed with the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources with the idea, which marks the observance of the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death in 1718. The flag will fly on ferries serving the Hatteras-Ocracoke, Cedar Island-Ocracoke, and Swan Quarter-Ocracoke ferry routes, as well as the Pamlico River route between Bayview and Aurora. Both areas have historic ties to the 18th-century pirate. The Blackbeard 300 Committee will be hosting exhibits, educational opportunities...

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North Carolina Health Officials Report 6 More Flu Deaths

North Carolina health officials say six more people have died from the flu, ending the official 2017-18 flu season with a record 348 deaths. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said there were three deaths for the week ending March 31, which is considered the final week of the flu season. Three more deaths from earlier in the season were determined to be flu-related. Dr. Christopher Ohl, professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, told the Winston-Salem Journal that last season, there was a late, second wave of flu cases in March and early...

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Plans Offered to Improve Pisgah National Forest Trails

Plans are being developed for a number of improvements in the trails in the Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. Pisgah District Range Dave Casey and the U.S. Forest Service have told the Asheville Citizen-Times there are plans to overhaul some of the forest’s most-loved and heavily damaged trails. The plans call for building some new trials and creating loop connectors on some existing trails. Some trails would be closed or restricted. There are also plans to enlarge a parking lot at the Daniel Ridge Trailhead. The projects are designed to increase the sustainability of recreation and improve water quality...

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